Diablo Immortal’s next update will be its biggest yet, bringing a complete overhaul of the game’s much maligned Warband system along with an additional dungeon, new sets, another battle season pass, and more.
Defined as Blizzard’s first “major” update to the game (the developer classified all previous updates to the free-to-play mobile ARPG as “mini” updates), the Forgotten Nightmares update is certainly a big one. Foremost are the changes to Warbands, which serve as mini-clans for up to eight players that are, in theory, there to reward small groups of players for playing together. In fact, the feature was criticized by playersas obtaining Warband rewards often required all of its members to be online at the same time to complete certain activities.
The Forgotten Nightmares update attempts to address some of those issues, though only time will tell if players are happy with the changes. With the arrival of the September 27th update, Warband camps will no longer be replaced by the new Castle Cyrangar. There will no longer be a requirement for Warband members to kill a certain number of monsters together to establish their base of operations. Warband Helliquarry raid requirements are also being adjusted, and after the update will only require four Warband members instead of a full team of eight. Completing the Warband Helliquary raid will grant members an additional 400% drop rate increase for sealed Warband chests, with the bonus resetting every seven days.
Castle Cyrangar will fulfill some of the same functions as the camps, such as offering passive bonuses to Warband members and a cool social space to hang out, but will also introduce some new gameplay features. Players, either alone or with other Warband members, will be able to explore the demon-filled depths of their Warband castle to unlock various rooms that grant passive bonuses to their assigned Warband members. These rooms can be upgraded with items obtained by solving the demon problems in the castle.
In addition to ridding the castle’s interior of demons, players will have to defend the exterior of their castle against demonic hordes. Once a week, Warband members can band together to fend off waves of attacking demons, which will grant experience and various rewards for successful defenses. For players looking for a challenge, a replayable “endless” castle defense mode will also be available, complete with leaderboards and an exclusive portrait frame for top performers.
The main attraction of participating in Cyrangar Castle activities is the chance to earn an Ancestral Weapon. These aren’t weapons in the traditional sense in that they aren’t equipped directly to your character, but instead are placed on what’s called an Ancestral Tableau, which gives each weapon’s stats to all Warband members as a passive bonus. However, players can also find and equip summoning gear from the Castle Cyrangar activity, which will give players the opportunity to activate various special effects unique to specific ancestral weapons.
Changes to Warbands headline the update, but there are also new items, gems, and an additional dungeon. In the new Silent Monastery dungeon, players will have to set fire to the statues inside the holy temple to fend off the darkness. There is also a new Helliquary boss for players with a combat rating of at least 6175 to fight, Izilech the Misshapen.
A new group of sets, Gloomguide’s Prize, is geared towards running skills, and there are three new legendary gems that players can earn and equip. The new Scouring the Darkness event will run from September 28th to October 19th, and a revamped version of the game’s Hungering Moon event will also make its debut on October 6th. The update will mark the start of the game’s fifth season, along with a new battle pass.
Despite fan criticism of the game’s monetization model, which allows players to pay for energy, Diablo Immortal has reportedly earned more than $100 million since its launch earlier this summer. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has defended how the free-to-play game is being monetized, though Blizzard has assured fans that Diablo IV’s in-game store will only offer cosmetics.
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